Amazon.com, New York Times settle best-seller dispute

Amazon and US newspaper end a dispute over linking and intellectual property.
Written by Margaret Kane, Contributor

Amazon.com has settled a legal dispute with the New York Times over whether the bookseller can use the newspaper's best seller list.

Amazon launched a promotion in May offering 50 percent off books on the list. The Times, which has an e-commerce deal with Barnesandnoble.com, took offence, saying that Amazon was using its proprietary data to promote its site. In June, Amazon asked a federal court to decide the matter.

The case is one of several in which the Net's interconnected nature has clashed with companies' intellectual property rights.

The settlement will let Amazon continue to display the list in alphabetical order on its site. It will also delay posting the list until after The Times has made the data public, and will put a disclaimer on its site, stating that it is not affiliated with the paper. Amazon will also supply The Times with its sales data. The paper uses sales data from booksellers to produce the list.

The companies said the agreement would end the lawsuit.

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